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Why young entrepreneurs don’t have to start with BIG loans

In a recent study published by the Kauffman Foundation, young people listed two main challenges in becoming entrepreneurs: access to entrepreneurial training and access to capital.

There are many resources for young entrepreneurs to gain knowledge about starting their own business. The idea of funding your enterprise through sales is “The Lemonade Stand”approach. This idea can also be applied to funding entrepreneurial learning. Here are seven ways to get affordable entrepreneurial enlightenment without risking it all.

1. Work for another entrepreneur to learn the ropes.

2. Read as many books and publications about entrepreneurship, start-ups and business as possible.

3. Volunteer for a company that needs extra assistance. See if there is a problem you can solve in a unique way, and take action. 

4. Leverage the entrepreneurial organizations that provide free thought leadership papers online. Subscribe to their newsletters and updates.

5. Identify people in your family and network of friends that are entrepreneurs. Ask them if you can interview them about the lessons they have learned.

6. Visit your local Small Business Development Center.

7. Get a PhD. Be “poor, hungry and driven” during the first years. It makes entrepreneurs even more creative and resourceful.

Another resource produced recently from the Kauffman Foundation through their Sketchbook tool talks about the entrepreneurial “Money Game”. The video details the different ways that entrepreneurs find money to support their vision. It does not advocate large loans to get started as well.

Many young people think they have to borrow tons of cash to fund their education and their first business. It is just not smart, and most of all, it is just not true.


About the Author: Amy P. Kelly is an entrepreneur that specializes in ways that businesses can support causes that improve communities and lives. She is Vice President of ClearPath where her team helps entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Amy started her first business at nine selling hair barrettes and is currently working on several new ventures while leading The Lemonhead Movement Some of her projects include: BodyRejoice, The MomVest, Strategies for Life and YipDeals  Amy has a particular affinity for youth entrepreneurship and is a wife and mother of four. Contact her at

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